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More Details on Jimmy and Ilo

November 28th, 2009

New York Magazine has an article that goes into detail on how Jimmy Buffett discovered Ilo Ferreira.

On November 23, Freston and his friend Jimmy Buffett, 62, were there to support Ilo at his sold-out show at Joe’s Pub and his appearance later that night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, which they’d helped engineer.

“Hopefully, lightning strikes and he gets a musical career,” says Freston. “We’re just trying to give him some exposure.”

How’d they get to know, and fund, him? “It was an amazing set of circumstances,” Buffett says backstage at Joe’s. “Freston gets fired and he doesn’t have his plane and he’s got me all fired up to go to the Festival in the Desert,” in Africa. So they have to take Buffett’s jet. The route to Mali “is from San Juan to Cape Verde,” where they stopped to refuel. Buffett thought, why not check out the local music scene while they were stopping through. “I went, ‘Let’s see if Cesaria Evora is playing; I’ve always been a fan.’”

Also with them was MTV Networks editorial director Bill Flanagan, 54. That night, the Cape Verde culture ministry hosted for Buffett and his traveling companions to showcase performances by the best local musicians, including Ilo. After seeing him play, they all “just looked at each other and said, ‘Man.’ I mean, you see a lot of people, but very few people you think have it,” says Buffett.

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(photo C. Taylor Crothers/FilmMagic)

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